Comparing quality in medical tourism

To keep things simple, this blog has moved to the IMTJ web site. You can find the Health Tourism Blog here in future. Here's an extract of the latest blog post on Comparing quality in medical tourism.

How does a medical tourist make a valid comparison of a doctor, hospital or clinic in one country with a doctor, hospital or clinic in another? The simple answer is that he or she can’t. And the truth is that it may never be the case (well not in my lifetime).

In the hypothetical world, we talk about patients making informed choices about treatment....about how we can provide them with the information that they need to compare healthcare providers and make valid decisions about which one is the “best”, the “safest”, the “highest quality”. But even if someone is only interested in treatment within one country, this may be impossible. In a country such as the UK where there is a national publicly funded health system it becomes more of a possibility. In the UK, there are quality indicators, performance measures, and outcome data that are collected in the same way and analysed in the same way across all healthcare providers (whether they are public or private hospitals). So, patients can make reasonably valid comparisons of healthcare providers.

However, in many countries which are promoting themselves as medical tourism destinations, there may be no strategy or system for collecting data on quality, performance and outcomes on a national basis. So, making an “informed choice” even within that country becomes a virtual impossibility.

.........Read the full article at IMTJ: Go to Comparing quality in medical tourism.